Enable 802.11a and b/g at the same time

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Aug 26th, 2009
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is it possible to have 802.11a and b/g enable at the same time or would that cause problems for the client.

And besides having more non-overlapping channels on 802.11a is it a better option? , based on what you seen out there.

Thank you

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dancampb Wed, 08/26/2009 - 06:14
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I would say its advisable to have both bands enabled at the same time. The supplicant will either be programmed to favor or might have the ability to tweak which band it will prefer.

John.Gerlach Wed, 08/26/2009 - 10:40
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I also say you may want to enable both bands (you can essentially double the wireless throughput that the AP can serve - although individual clients will only be on one or the other).

802.11a provides some advantages that you don't get with 802.11b/g:

1) It is a cleaner spectrum. 5 GHz is still an unlicensed spectrum so we may find this changing over time but today the majority of wireless gadgets that are out there seem to be in the B/G 2.4 GHz frequency range. Even if gadgets start appearing in the 5 GHz spectrum it is better equipped to work around the interference with the additional channels available.

2) There are more frequencies available which make installing a denser deployment possible.

3) Supports N speeds by bonding 2 channels together. While this is possible to do in the 2.4 GHz spectrum it really isn't feasible seeing as there are only 3 non-overlapping channels available there. (What do you do for AP #2?)

That's a few off the top of my head anyway.

Robert.N.Barrett_2 Wed, 08/26/2009 - 20:37
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There is a slight downside to using the 5GHz band - it does not provide the same coverage as 2.4GHz (the signals don't carry as far). You may have an existing deployment where users can easily roam between 2.4GHz AP's without dropping connections, but there is no guarantee that this same layout of AP's will work as well for 5GHz connections.


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